The DePauw University field hockey team won the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) regular season title after a 3-1 win over Earlham College last Wednesday.
The win secured the Tiger’s a No. 1 seed in the NCAC tournament ensuring them home field advantage through the tournament.
The Tigers got off to a quick start in the game, scoring in the third minute with a goal from junior forward Reilly Bruce. DePauw would keep up the scoring momentum, as they came back to score less than two minutes later, this time from first-year forward Kate Milner.
DePauw continued their offensive pressure, scoring the third goal of the half in the 19th minute, with Milner nabbing her second tally of the game. The Tigers would hold Earlham scoreless through the rest of the first half and entered halftime up 3-0.
In the second half, Kaitlyn Brunner scored a goal for Earlham, but the Tigers would hold on for the win. The Tigers outshot Earlham 22-9 and sophomore goalie Sarah Foye had two saves for the Tigers as she improved to 11-1 on the season.
Milner led the team scoring two goals and assisting on another one.
“We were very confident going into the game, and that made us come out strong those first few minutes and score early,” Milner said. “Throughout the whole season we have been talking about how the team that shows up ready to work the hardest each game will be the team to win.”
Having already clinched the title, DePauw was able to go into their final regular season match at Ohio Wesleyan University without any pressure. However, the Tigers were able to continue their win streak and go into the NCAC tournament with momentum, defeating Ohio Wesleyan 7-3.
The Tigers had goals from junior forward Paige Berliner, Milner, sophomore midfielder Rose Revolinski, and first-year forward Alexa Steil. Berliner finished the regular season with a team-high of 19 goals.
The Tigers' success on the field is in large part due to the team's mindset and preparation said senior midfielder Addie Ball. “Every time we step on the field our goal is to go out there and play together and have fun,” Ball said. “We don't worry about the other opponent or how they play, we focus on our game and what we need to do to get the job done.”
DePauw finished the regular season with an overall record of 16-3 and 13-1 in the NCAC and will go into the NCAC tournament on a 10-game win streak.
Senior defense Annie Wyman was happy about the team's accomplishments so far, but has her eyes set on the NCAC tournament title. “We're not settling with the regular season title, we want both,” Wyman said. “At this point in the season, we've practiced all that we can, we know what we have to do.”
“Going into the tournament, we are really only focusing on one game and one practice at a time,” Milner said. “At this point in the season any game can be our last one.”
The Tigers will host Wittenberg University for the NCAC conference tournament semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 2. If victorious, DePauw will host the championship game on Saturday, Nov. 5, for a chance to win a guaranteed spot in the NCAA tournament.